For many people, taking medications every day has become a normal routine. You wake up, get dressed for the day, eat breakfast and swallow down a handful of pills. What you may not know is that some of those medications you are taking may not be necessary at all. Now let’s stop right here and state that you absolutely should not discontinue any medications without the knowledge and approval of your doctor. This is simply to make you aware that for many of us there needs to be more communication (a two-way street) with our medical providers. We would also like to make you aware that the Pharmacists at Pharmacy Solutions are available to help guide you with a Medication and Supplement Audit.
We are first prescribed a medication for one diagnosis, then before you know it, more medications are added sometimes to treat the side effects of our first prescribed medication. So how many of us actually know what our medications are prescribed for and what conditions and why? Do we know what our treatment goal was when we were prescribed these prescriptions? Frequently not. This is why you should consider a Medication and Supplement Audit.
Patients frequently have more than one medical provider. From our primary care doctor to various specialists each physician looks primarily at his or her area of expertise. So with this being said, do you know if all of your medical providers have a record and understanding of your prescription and supplement history? This is where an audit can help. Taking prescription medications may be necessary but may cause some vitamin and mineral depletion in your body. Sometimes, replenishing these depletions with “natural” or “herbal” supplements can cause dangerous interactions with your prescription medications. This can be a vicious cycle arising from being over-prescribed medications and supplements. At the medical provider’s office, some of us actually list all our current medications but often do not provide the supplements we are currently taking. Sometimes we do not provide this information to our medical providers because they do not ask and we often don’t think providing it is necessary. Always address with your doctors and pharmacists the complete list of medications/supplements you are taking and re-evaluate frequently what medications or supplements may no longer be needed.
Senior Citizens are the most common victims of over-prescribing since they tend to have more chronic medical conditions. They are frequently prescribed multiple prescription drugs to treat these conditions, which often leads to more prescriptions treating those side effects. Unfortunately the older we get, the harder it is for our kidneys and liver to process these drugs effectively. So when considering adding more medications and/or supplements, please speak with your providers to see what is truly needed. One of the great things about Pharmacy Solutions is that we offer this service to our patients. If you think you may be considering a drug/supplement audit, please call the pharmacy and schedule a consultation with one our pharmacists.